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Dessert for special date: cheesecake or chocolate mousse?


I'm going to make dessert for a date that I'm very excited about later this week. I love all things (dark) chocolate, and if I was making something only for myself, I'd go with chocolate mousse, hands down. I like the recipe from Bouchon.

But experience and a brief survey of my guy friends tells me that most guys seem to prefer fruity desserts. (Why is that?)

SO... I'm considering doing a classic cheesecake (no crust) with some kind of fruit sauce (strawberries or raspberries).

First, which would you choose?

Second, if it is cheesecake, WHAT RECIPE would you use? Keep in mind, must not have crust (I'm gluten-free.)

Thank you!

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  1. Well, I'm a guy. Give me a chocolate mousse with raspberry sauce and I'm yours. Well, if my wife says it's OK .....

    1. That's funny! I would have said give the guy the chocolate and be careful not to (unwisely) position yourself between me (a female) and the cheesecake. But what do I know?

      You might try this lemon curd cheesecake. Good lemons are still available in the winter and I know for sure this is the one my son would lose his mind over. I also checked that there's no flour. My own go-to cheesecake recipe has 3 tablespoons of flour and most other recipes I know have at least a 1/4 cup. Meanwhile, I'm not sure what effect leaving the flour out would have. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      As for the crust, it's no big deal to skip cheesecake crust when it's this graham cracker bottom affair. The custard portion should bake to firm enough to hold itself intact. Just be sure to use a springform pan so that it can sit on the bottom undisturbed. Or put a snug-fitting foil-lined cake circle in the bottom of the springform so that you can remove it by that. I have a glass-bottomed springform because it's nearly invisible on a cake plate.

      I see the baking instructions don't specify baking it in a water bath. I never have myself. But if you're a person who needs that insurance, line the *outside* of the springform with a large sheet of foil before you pour water around it. I always worry much more about the water migrating in than the thick custard migrating out.

      BTW, if you feel better about chocolate mousse, there's no reason you couldn't serve that with a fruit purée or sauce either.

      Good luck! ;>

      1. I say anything chocolate...I have to say that not all men like anything fruity...if you're torn, why not make it a chocolate cheesecake with blueberry or raspberry sauce then you'll be covered either way. By the way, if the person is that special, he'll like whatever you give him :)

        1. My husband would def prefer the chocolate mousse!! BTW, he eats gluten free as well--and when I make him a cheesecake, I usually sub crushed gluten free vanilla wafers or graham crackers with good results.

          1. Between the two I'd vote for chocolate mousse. You could also consider a lemon mousse or lemon pot de creme.

            1. I think you should ask your date what his preference is. Most women love chocolate, but my favorite desserts are citrus based. However, absent other data, I would go for the mousse. I think something that is lighter at the end of the meal is better for conversation or other activities later on. Cheesecake can be heavy.

              1. If you want a crust (and it's certainly not necessary) you can make it from almond or other nut flours. I low carb, so that's what I do. I'd go for the chocolate, but if you want to compromise, why not make any good NY style cheesecake recipe and drizzle dark chocolate over it and serve it with a fruit sauce? Gild the lily.

                He'd better be worth it! ;-)

                2 Replies
                1. re: mcf

                  heck, why not chocolate cheesecake?

                  when i was dating, i never liked cooking overly rich foods for the guy -- too soporific, if you catch my drift. ;)

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    Or Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake! There is a recipe from Chef Robert James Krol in The Louisiana New Garde Book. You can access the recipe online here;

                2. The danger areas for most men seem to be nuts and coconut. I know just a couple who don't like chocolate, and some who prefer milk chocolate. My brother in law is an insanely picky eater, and loves chocolate. I just had another guy tell me he gets a migraine if he eats chocolate several days running, but sometimes he can't help himself.

                  Isn't chocolate supposed to be an aphrodisiac? ;) I'd do the chocolate. Personally I don't love the texture of mousse, I would do pots de chocolate, but any great chocolate dessert is fine by me.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: foiegras

                    the guys I know love coconut and fresh fruit pies.

                    Sorry I missed the "gluten free" requirement. A fruit crisp then. The smell of cinnamon is amazing.

                  2. Definitely chocolate. My husband, my brother-in-law and my father would also agree (though my father loves fruity desserts too).

                    1. If it were me, I'd prefer the cheesecake. Maybe with the raspberry sauce. But it's not me -- is it?

                      (If it is me what time should I show up? And if it's not me, what difference does my opinion make?)

                      1. Chocolate mousse - any day, any meal, any course.

                        1. I vote for chocolate mousse. I'd say more people would like chocolate mousse over cheesecake. When I worked in restaurants, chocolate cake or pie was more popular than cheesecake.

                          I've always found that guys like homemade chocolate chip cookies too. You could do a chocolate fondue with cheesecake bites for dipping, along with other things to dip such as marshmallows, cookies, vanilla wafers, fruit, etc. We did this for NYE and it was delish!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Katballen

                            I really like this fondue idea ... sounds very sexy. The other nice thing about it is, he can choose exactly how much he wants to eat for dessert, and won't feel that he needs to 'finish' or risk hurting your feelings. Plus, you can have all the elements and eat them too--the fruit, cheesecake, and chocolate.

                            1. re: foiegras

                              Plus, just think of all the things you can do with your date and the leftover fondue!

                          2. White chocolate mousse with fresh raspberries. Make raspberry sauce and dark chocolate sauce and give him a choice of either or both. "Cheesecake" has those decadence and swimsuit issue connotations. On the other hand, maybe that's the direction you want....

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: greygarious

                              Must be mousse. You can't beat it for an important date. Cheesecake is for day time - choc mousse for when its full moon.....

                            2. Another vote for mousse.

                              While I (female) personally would prefer an interesting cheesecake, 1) I think the occasion call for chocolate mousse, and 2) in my experience people seem to be in love/hate relationships with cheesecake.

                              Furthermore, after a date a small ramekin or dessert cup of mousse might be lighter / less likely to give you that "full belly" feeling than a wedge of cheesecake... just sayin'.

                              Let me chine in with a "yes" on an optional fruit puree on the side.

                              Good luck!

                              1. Here's the tally (at 19 replies so far:)
                                11 for chocolate mousse, with or without sauces
                                1 for chocolate pots de creme
                                3 for chocolate cheesecake, or a variation
                                1 for white chocolate mousse, side of sauces
                                1 for cheesecake with chocolate drizzle
                                1 for straight up cheesecake
                                1 straddling the fence, your choice

                                My vote's for the chocolate mousse, raspberry coulis, counted in.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: bushwickgirl

                                  you know, it's funny. my b/f of 8 years swears up and down he does not like chocolate. for my holiday party this weekend i made a version of "the lighter than air chocolate cake", with milk chocolate mousse and salted peanut praline dust in between the layers, all covered with dark chocolate ganache. he walked around, eating several pieces, saying it was the best cake he ever had, and why don't i always make this? lol.

                                  sometimes people just have never had or tried a version of something that blew their dress up, i guess.

                                  to the op: i'd err on the side of something lighter as a dessert here. :)

                                2. I am another vote for the chocolate mousse, if you know he likes chocolate. I think the traditional cheesecake option is a little heavy for first date food. If you are not sure if he likes chocolate, I like the idea of cookies.

                                  1. I vote for a verrine - with chocolate mousse. They are gorgeous, impressive, but easy to make.

                                    I personally know lots of people that don't like cheesecake, but only a few that don't like chocolate mousse.

                                    I would do a fruit and chocolate verrine. My absolute favorite combination is passion fruit and chocolate - and would be a nice date food. Layer the bottom with chocolate mousse, then a passion fruit mousse, and either a passion fruit coulis or gelee or a coconut milk panna cotta. Happy to help you find the recipes if you would like. although it sounds complicated, it really isn't as it just uses many of the same components slightly tweaked.

                                    By the way I am celiac, so eat GF all the time. i also do crusts with ground nuts and gluten-free cookies. However, I am picky about my desserts, and my husband is even more picky (self proclaimed allergic to most gluten-free). So, it has to be a good cookie that isn't sandy for me to like it.

                                    1. i'd say go with the chocolate mousse with fresh berries. maybe even serve chocolate dipped strawberries along side...
                                      good luck on your date!!!

                                      1. mousse, chocolate mousse!!

                                        at least the guys i know will take chocolate over berries...